Saturday, March 17, 2012

they sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within

I will not offer refunds for accidental unenroiling

First off, I love that word. I have no idea what it means, but I love that word. (And yes, I know Ms. Graves meant "unenrolling", there, but...still. Unenroiling. Fun.)

I will also not make the group free if you accidentally leave for you to rejoin. It's not fair for anyone else.

Now, keep in mind, this is coming from the M.O.C.K. Cosmetics group. While I didn't pay to get in the group, if I left--for any reason--and wanted to rejoin, I would, happily, and I would not complain a single thin complaint about the L$250 join fee.

Why not? Because--while I have bought lipstick layers, eyeshadows, and full makeover sets from her over the course of the last year--the bulk of my makeup collection is group gifts she just tosses out. She's working on a concept, and she doesn't know where it's going--she'll do it up in grape or turquoise, copper or violet, and see how it looks when it's vibrant. Then she turns back to the worktable, and does it over again for smokey eyes, muted lips, neutral makeovers.

Not everything she makes is sedate; but for the most part, what her store actually carries for sale are makeup and tattoo layers that enhance subtly, or tone down the makeup your skin might actually have, or just adds another stripe of color to your existing stripe, across the eye, the lips, the cheeks.

Everything else? Whatever occurs to her in the fever of creation, and most of it she tosses to us gratis. So that L$250 fee to get in is a bargain at twice the price, no doubt in the least.

Two years after the fact, I finally get an explanation on the great Valkyrie/Dreamscape bridge debacle I covered back then (scroll down to the last two comments). How'ver, reading over my original post before the answer, I still stand behind what I said back then: it doesn't matter how personally attacked/vilified/stolen from any maker feels emotionally, imitating someone else's work to that specific extent is an act of ridiculous folly. Because it makes the maker in question look like an idiot, essentially. Rather than the injured party, noble even when wounded and bereft; because it, itself, feels like the personal attack.

I'm not wholly without blame (in the general sense) myself, in this: several years ago I put together a pack of tin ceilings. This was before I started making texture sets by hand, and ensuring that any elements I pulled from various websites were legal and in the public domain, and royalty-free. At the time I saw no problem in hitting two large makers of tin ceilings, and resizing their product images to fit the standards of Second Life.

The reason I don't sell that pack now is that--even though my digital reselling of that pack never directly lowered the profit margin of those makers of actual, RL tin ceilings--I didn't get permission to reuse the images. To me, that was something that became startlingly clear after I began to investigate digital copyright.

But here's the thing--even if I was still selling that pack of images, if someone lifted those images from the same sources I did, paid to upload them all into SL, and then made a house with them--I would never, not in a century of SL days and nights, do my best to copy that mansion down to the last detail, then use my own tin ceiling textures to provide that final, malicious retort.

Because I'm not showing the world that I had the textures first in that example. I'm showing the world what a spiteful, vindictive, petty tyrant I can be when crossed, and frankly (especially as I already have a reputation in many places for being mouthy, bitchy, and/or relationship poison anyway), that doesn't advance my cause any. That just makes me look like an easily offended loon who'd rather copy someone's else's work out of peevish resentment.

Seriously, people...if you're going to take a vocal stand against copyright infringement, the last thing you should ever consider doing is engage in any blatant copyright violation. Whether it proves a point or not, it's never going to be the right move.

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